Marian Oprea in the triple jump at the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot
Only 11 men were in the qualifying competition for Sunday’s final with 2004 Olympic silver medallist Marian Oprea the sole athlete to surpass 17 metres; 16.90m being the automatic qualifying distance.
The 31-year-old Romanian leapt 17.02m with his second effort to put himself in contention for a medal, having finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively in previous editions of these championships.
Cuba’s Pedro Pablo Pichardo qualified with the second furthest jump with 16.82m.
The 20-year-old world silver medallist and 2012 world junior champion leads the world list with 17.32m this winter after his recent jump in Prague although he jumped a massive 17.76m outdoors on home soil in Havana last month.
Russia’s 2012 world indoor bronze medallist Lyukman Adams registered 16.68m qualified marginally ahead of Cuba’s Ernesto Reve.
Following a 17.15m personal best to claim the US title in Albuquerque last month, Chris Carter had a best effort of 16.54m while Poland had plenty to cheer as Karol Hoffman, son of the 1983 world champion Zladislaw, progressed courtesy of a 16.37m effort.
The final qualifying position of a very modest qualifying competition went to Ukraine’s Viktor Kuznietsov, the 2004 world junior champion needing only 16.29m to reach the final.
Nicola Bamford for the IAAF